Archive for August, 2015

Junior Golf: Start the Fall with a Committment

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at how to start your fall golf season by developing good habits. Proper routines are essential for success. Every great athlete has specific routines they have incorporated into their daily life. (photo from

Mom and Dad, please be the parents. It is your persistence and attention to detail that will help your junior golfer stay on track and improve her game. Start by reviewing her schedule. Does she have team practices? Is there room for additional weekly golf activity? Discuss how much time she can commit for golf each week. Don’t overbook this. A little less activity is better until and unless the desire catches fire and your daughter wants to spend every waking minute doing something golf related. And yes, this really does happen, but do not be disturbed if it has not happened to your young golfer yet.

What can and does happen is that your daughter may love golf, but does not wish to spend all her free time on it. This is why good habits, as in practice habits are essential. After you decide how much golf time is available each week, then devise a golf practice routine with your daughter’s input. Ask her if she is good with the schedule the 2 of you have come up with. If so, then ask if she is willing to commit to it. If yes, then please consider having her sign a piece of paper committing to the weekly schedule. The actual signing of a piece of paper stating what her responsibilities are is a genuine reality check. It makes her commitment real and hopefully helps prepare her to read every word of anything she may sign in the future, including student loans, car or home loans, real estate papers, etc.image

Her agreement needs to include some details: minimum number of golf activities per week, definition of golf activities, maximum number of days without any golf and whatever else applies. You can add fun stuff like “I promise to have a positive mental attitude and always want to go to practice. I will not complain about it being too hot or too cold or too wet or too windy.” A little fun added in goes a long way.

So get some regular activities going. Regular activities give her structure and structure helps build confidence in the processes that will help her improve her golf skills. The legendary Ben Hogan said: ” I always outworked everybody. Work never bothered me like it bothers some people.” Make golf fun and make sure to have her commit to a minimum number of days of golf activity per week. This will be a great start…and that positive mental attitude!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: What To Expect After the Break

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at the to expect from your daughter after the break is over. Interesting things happen and perhaps don’t happen when there is no golf activity for a week or 2. There will be some surprises so be prepared to take advantage of them rather than being upset by them.

So your kiddo is ready to get back into her golf regimen and you need to set up her routine for the fall. Part of this is done for you if she is on a high school, junior high school or club golf team and all you have to do is be a good golf parent and chauffeur. And you can offer extra putting and chipping drills at home, if her schedule allows. (photo from golf

Starting back into school has a slight adjustment period so there will be some confusion and possible frustration at first and golf may suffer as everything else settles in place. Missing a week or 2 of golf makes for interesting start back up scenarios. She may have an amazing day on the range followed by an ugly day. Muscle memory is there, but strength and conditioning may have suffered. She just needs to work back up into golf shape. New team members pose an interesting situation as some may become best friends with your daughter and others may not.image

Be an encourager and get her hitting a bunch of balls, even when she is not too excited about it, so she can wake her muscles back up and get into competitive golf shape. Bubba Watson says one of the best things for amateur golfers to do is to hit more balls. Get “golf strong” by hitting a lot of golf balls. (photo from

Plan on getting a physical exam, have her eyes checked, make sure her golf shoes still fit and replace the cleats. Get excited, fall golf means a new season of golf friends and golf tournaments. Your daughter is entering into new territory!

See you on #1 tee… Sam.

Junior Golf: Take a Break Before School Starts

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan, we will look at why it is important for your junior golfer to take a break before school starts. A summer filled with golf activities is a wonderful thing, but your youngster needs a mental and physical break. With school starting in mid-to-late August in most cases, this is a perfect time to spend some energy on school prep and not think about golf for a week or 2. (Photo by

Golf needs to be fun for everybody. Even the pros, if they are not enjoying playing and competing find it hard to even make the cut sometimes. Your junior golfer needs a ton of fun, combined with some instruction and practice. If he starts seeing golf as work or drudgery, you need to change things quickly.

So for now, rather than overthinking this and wondering if your kiddo needs a break, just take my word for it and give him one, for 2 weeks max. He may ask if he can go start hitting balls again before break time is up. That’s OK, but make sure he takes a complete break from playing, hitting, chipping and putting for at least a week.image

Priorities in our house were grades first, then golf, so getting a positive mental attitude about school starting back up, reuniting with friends and looking forward to fall golf tournaments is all part of the deal. Also, your son will feel refreshed and reinvigorated after some time without golf. (photo by

When the pros take time off, it is different that what your son is doing, but the reasons for taking the time off and anticipated results upon returning to the game are pretty much the same. They want to “find their game”, if they are not playing well. Or they need rest after playing in a lot of consecutive tournaments. Or they may just be tired and need some family time.

Breaks are good for the brain and good for the body and good for the family. So give your son a break. He will quickly get back into the swing of things…and probably swing better!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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